The museum project

Abderrahman Slaoui, an enlightened humanist (1919-2001)

Born in Fez in 1919, Moroccan businessman and collector, Abderrahman Slaoui devoted his life to the artistic traditions of Morocco and the Arab-Muslim world: his passion.

The childhood and adolescence of Abderrahman Slaoui, rich in political and cultural events, were decisive in developing the personality of this businessman and collector. The source of this development was first the house “Dar Ibn Ich”.

This house was the source of his artistic education. The memory of its Arab-Andalusian style, its architectural elements, its ornaments, and its boxes filled with treasures (tiaras, necklaces, bracelets, etc.) that the women of the house put on for religious or family celebrations, continually haunted his artistic choices.

Vue d’ensemble du Cabinet de curiosité General view of the Cabinet of curiosity During his adolescence, especially at Moulay Driss high school, Abderrahman Slaoui met exceptional personalities that had an impact on painting, archaeological research and art history in Morocco like his art teacher Henri Pontoy, the painter Edouard Édy-Legrand, and historians Levy Provençal, Louis Massignon, Henri Basset, Georges Marçais, Henri Terrasse. It was also during this period that he regularly visited a Russian countess who was the grandmother of his high school classmate, Serge, in order to admire beautiful Russian art objects.

The affirmation of his artistic taste was decisive after his marriage to the daughter of one of the greatest jewelers of Fez, Haj Abdessalam Benchekroun, who became his best guide and advisor.

Through these works, Abderrahman Slaoui tried to reconstruct his past where "life takes its course in a peaceful happiness rhythm"; a past shakened by the economic crisis of 1934 that led his father, a successful businessman, to decrepitude.

The idea of a museum began to form in Abderrahman Slaoui’s mind. He wanted to share his passion and gave the opportunity to people to enjoy his collection. To carry out this project, Abderrahman Slaoui acquired a colonial-style villa, located in the heart of the historic district of Casablanca.

Unfortunately, Abderrahman Slaoui never saw the end of his largest project. His family has continued his dream and the Abderrahman Slaoui Foundation Museum opened to the public in 2012, more than 10 years after his death (2001).

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